- Category: Explore
- Published on Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:46
A bit apart » Barnston Island
If you take 104 Avenue in Surrey as far East as you can go, over the Freeway and past the tracks you'll end up on ramp to the Barnston Island Ferry, about level with 179 Street.
To your left is Surrey Bend Park, a Metro Vancouver regional park. They're in the midst of building some trails there. To your right is a sawmill. There can't be too many of those left in the Lower Mainland. On one hand: undeveloped nature; on the other: resource-based industry. And straight-ahead: Barnston Island.
Barnston Island is unorganized, politically, but most residents will write 'Surrey' on any address. Certainly that's where the island is tethered to the mainland through underwater cables and the above-water ferry.
The ferry is little more than a barge guided by a tugboat. It's free, but be warned: it only faces one way. This means you have to back up off and on the ferry on the island side.
A good day trip is to park in the gravel lot in front of Surrey Bend Park and walk or bike over. A road about nine kilometres rings the island.
We walked over and down about two kilometres to Robert Point Regional Park at the northern tip of the Island. From there views to the West and South are of the forested Surrey Bend Regional Park. To the North, across the Fraser, is the forested Pitt Meadows Regional Greenway.
Barnston Island is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, and part of it is Barnston Island Indian Reserve 3. Wikipedia (of course) has an entry. With forests on all sides, and fields covering the island, it's easy to think you've been transported back in time to 50 or maybe 70 years ago. But then, with the cold winter sun edging to the horizon, if you look due East you'll see the shining white cables of the Golden Ears bridge making triangles in the distance.